TSG’s 2013 MLS Preseason Prediction Preview (Part II of II)

Are you still paying attention! Part II is a bad choice!

Are you still paying attention! Part II is a bad choice!

Are you still paying attention?

Recovered from Wells Thompson dating your sister yet?

We forge on. In search of truth, hope, and something, anything interesting to say.

(If you missed Part I yesterday, look no further.)

Best American in MLS

Gonzalez was once a pirate like Jonas from Tyneside.

Gonzalez was once a pirate like Jonas from Tyneside.

Jay Bell: Omar Gonzalez. The emerging USMNT-er is a beast in the air and on set-pieces. Without Beckham, he may not be as huge of a factor on free kicks, but he’s still a prime candidate to head overseas soon.

Biggerstaff: Chris Wondolowski. Well, Chris Wondolowski is the best MLS player, and he is American, so he wins. Kevin Durr is the best American, and currently an MLS player, so he gets second.

J Rodius: Chris Pontius. By the end of 2013 I think we’ll be talking about Chris Pontius as a key player for the 2014 World Cup.

Parchman: Landon Donovan. This is like asking me to pick between a sugared beet and an elaborately prepared red velvet cake that’s suddenly gone missing. I’LL STILL TAKE THE CAKE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Runner-up: Brad Davis

Matt, TSG: Think about how tough this answer is right now with no Donovan. Where once Donovan reined supreme, now it’s not quite clear. Eddie Johnson is still the most talented, but can’t put it all completely together. You’ve got Zusi, Besler, Beckerman, DeMerit, Gonzalez, Kennedy, and Wondolowski in the greater discussion.

How did I think about this one? I’m drafting a team of only MLSers for the right to the wild card slot (that doesn’t exist) at the 2013 Confederation’s Cup. My foil, John Harkes, is drafting for the other side. Wait, that too easy. My foil is Bruce Arena. Who’s my very first pick from MLS?

I think by this criteria I take Chris Pontius.

All that said, goals win games and Chris Wondolowski scores goals. Can he replicate it in Klinsmann’s system on the international stage? No, but that’s not the question.

Chris Wondolowski.

Most Anti-American MLS player?

Grossi: Terry Dunfield. Sticking with the local, Terry Dunfield is everything that America prides itself on. He is tenacious, hard-working, bleeds for the cause, and doesn’t know the meaning of, nor stomach the taste of, defeat. Sounds like the perfect all-American, right? Well first off, he is thoroughly Canadian, which always raises the ire south of the border, and secondly, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. His formative time in England has given him an extremely relaxed demeanor and off-pitch personality that doesn’t quite scream professional workhorse – he’s more just one of the lads.

If American soccer can be guilty of anything, it is not finding the joy in the game that other nations thrive on. Terry combines all those skills that define the American player, with a passion that few can rival, all with a smile in his heart.

Thatmy friends, is Canadian.

Jay Bell: Torsten Frings. Duh. (Editor’s note: Torsten Frings regrettably retired today, about 11 years too late by our count.)

J RodiusShalrie Joseph. As in, UnAmerican? Or as in hates Americans? When I think of America I think of capitalism. When I think of capitalism I think of greed. When I think of greed I think of Wall Street. When I think of Wall Street I think of Charlie Sheen. When I think of Charlie Sheen I think of Winning. So if Winning is American then Shalrie Joseph is the most un-American player in the league. That dude ain’t won shit!

Parchman: Boniek Garcia. Because he knows how to do cool things with a soccer ball at his feet. ZING.

Runner-up: Marvin Chavez

Matt, TSG: Joia Plata. Robbie Findley …. wait for it … Plata likes to possess the ball, make sharp runs in the attacking third and is a single Junior Mint taller than Omar Gonzalez’s knee cap. If that isn’t un-American, I don’t know what is.

Biggerstaff: Non-alliteration on Chivas USA. My guess is when the season starts, anyone on the Chivas USA roster whose name doesn’t rhyme with man extremity will qualify here.

Player who should have been a goalie?

Goalie?

Goalie?

Biggerstaff: Eddie Gaven. I’d say Mike Magee, but he is top dolla cash money in the playoffs, so maybe Eddie Gaven? He grows weird beards, looks like he has good range and needs to go bald to be Friedel’s understudy.

Jay Bell: Rafa Marquez. Who would try to score when you could kick the ball as hard as you can at him??? I don’t care if he’s not in MLS anymore, he still deserves to be made fun of.

Parchman: Mike Magee. The mini mite!

Runner up: Connor Lade (mini mite the sequel!)

Matt, TSG: Steven Lenhart. Sometimes I think he legitimately would prefer to hand the ball than bring it down with his chest or shoulder.

Best Player in MLS from Africa with the exception of Nigeria?

Parchman: Steve Zakuani. Don’t dispute me. Even on one leg. I vote on potential and the assumption that Brian Mullan does not exist as a person. So there you go.

Runner up: Sanna Nyassi

Jay Bell: Dominic Oduro. He may still blast a few into orbit, but with Federico Fernando Higuaín and company behind him, he should get plenty of opportunities.

J Rodius: Darlington Nagbe. Forget the fact that his game is the type that should flourish under Porter. More importantly, Liberia is in Africa, right?

Grossi: Gershon Koffie. Vancouver’s Ghanaian-born Koffie is the best African player in the league, no contest. After an impressive first campaign, he grew into his defensive role last year and added those surging runs from deep that can be so devastating.

At only 21, should his progress continue on this path, he will only grace this league for another season or two.

Runner-up: Sanna Nyassi

Matt, TSG: Gale Agbossoumonde. Look, I really just wanted to fit the Bossman in this preview. The Togo-born defender might finally get out from under the weight of his hideous Traffic contract and become the player everyone once expected. He can learn from no one better than Ryan Nelson.

Runner-up: Gershon Koffie, Patrick Nyarko

Wildcard: Charles Eloundou — Look out for this kid. 18-year-old Cameroonian for the Rapids who wears #99. I like it already.

Biggerstaff: Kei Kamara. He is an MLS player on loan in the EPL. Yeah, since when does that happen outside of LA’s golden boys? Uh, never. In the MLS, Bakary Soumare, assuming he can get back to his previous form. Dude is a beast and will challenge for MLS defender of the year.

The Inaugural Golden Crowbar Award, given to the most unnecessarily physical or fouling player

Minda kick! Minda hurt! Minda kill!!

Minda kick! Minda hurt! Minda kill!!

Parchman: Oswaldo Minda. Somebody give this dude a hug. Chelis?

Runner-up: Patrick Ianni

Jay Bell: Diego Chara. Chara racked up the second most fouls in MLS in 2012. Now he is going to have even more responsibility and more opportunities for fouls in Caleb Porter’s system.

Is it somehow still possible to award this to CJ Brown, even though he’s on RSL’s bench? If not I say it gets split between TFC’s Silva, Soolsma and Aceval. Are you really gonna bet against dudes that role play Roadhouse on the weekends?

J Rodius: CJ Brown. Is it somehow still possible to award this to CJ Brown, even though he’s on RSL’s bench?  If not I say it gets split between TFC’s Silva, Soolsma and Aceval.  Are you really gonna bet against dudes that role play Roadhouse on the weekends?

Matt, TSG: Bill Hamid I’ve never seen a keeper who wants to initiate contact–and he’s got good reason too–as much as Hamid. His thought process to me literally seems to be, “Oh here comes the cross. Okay, let me knock out McInerny’s teeth. Okay, time to get the ball. Whoops! It’s over my head again.”

And Jay, that Chara was a good shout. If anyone in Portland or MLS needs to get on the “puff, puff, give” rotation, it’s that guy. Sit down man, take a toke and watch some Portlandia.

Runner-up: Brandon McDonald (you’ve cornered the market here DC United! And you want to play the beautiful game?)

Grossi: Antoine Hoppenot. Steven Lenhart, a personal favourite, will get a lot of votes in this category, but Philadelphia’s Antoine Hoppenot takes the cake, that’s not to say he is not a joy to watch. Everyone will recall the head-butt that Montreal’s Nelson Rivas laid on the young French-born super-sub, but masked by that retaliation is the kind of pestering that is the stuff of legend.

Diminutive, Hoppenot plays twice his size, shows no deference to experience, and shys from no man. If he was the size of Eric Hassli, he would concede the most fouls in the league.

Biggerstaff: Osvaldo Alonso. Alonso, come on down! Snag this quickly before Steven Lenhart knocks you over and we get to watch the world’s worst bum fight ever!

Player with the hottest girlfriend or wife that you wouldn’t expect to since you’ve never seen her?

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Parchman: Sigi Schmid. I bet Sigi is dating a 25-year-old model from Belarus. And he makes her wear an awful rave green scarf EVERYWHERE.

Runner-up: Dax McCarty

Grossi: Eric Hassli. A few names to throw at the wall: Eric Hassli, imposing in size and tattooed, though he is French. Torsten Frings, all grizzled and shaggy, though cultured in his own way. Ossie Alonso? Surely a man that hard on the pitch cannot be gentle off it, but soccer is a game of dichotomy.

That’s all I’ve got.

Jay Bell: Blas Perez. F**k if I know. How am I supposed to pick someone who I think has a hot WAG even though I don’t think they’d have a hot WAG? Blas Perez?

Biggerstaff: Alan Gordon or Tim Cahill.

Magee for the win!

Magee for the win!

Matt, TSGMike Magee. You see a player like Juan Agudelo goes Maurice Edu on Twitter and starts following any D-Cup he can get his “follow” on. No, this question was put out by the editor here to see just how good the logic was our analysts.

Let’s think this through.

The player should play in a warm weather city? [narrows field]. The player should play in an environ with an abundance of good looking, non-sweater-wearing women. [Narrows field to the Galaxy & Chivas USA]. The player may pal around with Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, whose ex and current respectfully are calendar worthy. [Narrows field to Galaxy star, semi-star players.]

We narrow our set of possible players to two: Mike Magee and Omar Gonzalez, both with respectable cases. The first is a Bradley Cooper look-a-like, who is a money player when the game is on the line (chicks dig that). And get this, he can even play goal. (He’s good with his hands).

The second is a tall gentleman who stood out out physically in the most important MLS game last year. He’s been on billboards in Central America too. HOT DAMN!

We’ll take a flyer on Magee for this one to just edge out Gonzalez based on a longer friendship with Donovan and the Cooper doppelganger thing.

Runner-up: Omar Gonzalez.

Best target forward by physical attributes or by appearance alone, not necessarily ability

J Rodius: Chad Barret. How about Chad Barret? He’s a striker whom has the “appearance” of a player with “physical ability”. He’s the best of both worlds.

Jay Bell: Kenny Cooper. Dude has always looked like one hell of a target forward. I FC Dallas is going to have an identity crisis with him, Perez and Hassli.

Parchman: Alan Gordon. Because he has legs like tree stalks and a face like Treebeard. “I bid thee come, for I shall score.” Or whatever Lord of the Rings quote applies to soccer.

Runner-up: Conor Casey

Matt, TSG: Ryan Johnson. If you were asking me to craft a nasty target man forward, I’d think I’d go with brooding and hulking Jamaican man who still isn’t happy when he scores. He’s your boy now, Portland.

Biggerstaff: CJ Sapong, Will Bruin. Based on thickness and potential.

Best Canadian Team Not Playing in Canada

Grossi: DC United. Back in the day Houston were the undisputed holders of this title, but gone are the likes of Pat Onstad and Dwayne De Rosario and the departure of Andre Hainault this offseason has left them seriously depleted on that front.

DC United with De Rosario, Dejan Jakovic, and quite possibly Kyle Porter in their midst are the front runners.

Parchman: New York Red Bulls. Because trophies are as foreign as the poutine, coaches rotate in and out like clockwork and nobody really wants to play there.

Runner-up: DC United

Jay Bell: Mushrooms/Montreal. Am I on mushrooms answering these? I mean, Montreal is the best Italian team not playing in Italy, but Canada? I’ll say SKC, because those folks are so damn nice.

J Rodius: Real Salt Lake A few things I think of when I think of Canada. Neil Young, Mike Meyers and the rapper Snow. So, a young team mired in the snow… RSL?

More Annoying owner: Merritt Paulson or Robb Heinman?

Jay Bell: Nope. Neither is annoying. Both are amazing. Shame on you for thinking otherwise.

Biggerstaff: Merritt Paulson. If you are gonna tweet stupid shit, don’t delete it! So annoying to go have to use some site that archives his tweets to see his stupidity versus just seeing them on twitter. Stop. Doing. That.

J Rodius: None of the above.  You have two young owners investing in stadiums and fan involvement and you want to complain about “annoying.”  They may tweet a lot about their teams, but at least they are interested.  Anyone check Clark Hunt’s Twitter timeline lately?

Matt, TSG: Robb Heineman. Both are tremendous for the domestic league and the game. Outspoken and they give a damn (Robert Kraft), but only one spells his name incorrectly. Drop the “b” buddy. Loads more respect.

Parchman: Merritt Paulson. Because Robb Heineman was on a desk/treadmill for the SKC Christmas video message, and that’s just ridiculous rich guy ingenuity used for a really menial normal-guy stuff, which is awesome. Paulson goes heli-skiing in Nepal and dives the Titanic wreck with James Cameron and Alec Baldwin. Screw that guy.

Grossi: Drew Carey.  Neither, as a long time sufferer at the hands of a faceless corporate owner, it should be appreciated that both put themselves out there and can personally be held accountable, at least verbally, for any failings. Seattle’s cheerleading Drew Carey can be a bit much, though I did enjoy his show.

He came to Toronto once and received a flying beer from the masses for cheering out his press box window, not sure if he has returned since. Try and smile every once and a while Drew, you’re on the Price is Right, enjoy it.

MLS Cup Winner

Screen shot 2013-02-25 at 10.17.08 PMJay Bell: Sporting Kansas City. There is a good chance they’ll face a lower seeded team from the Western Conference in the final, so they would get to play the final at the artist formerly known as LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Parchman: New York Red Bulls. Because I live for the lulz, guys. (I’m really going to go with the Red Bulls, though. I’ll look like a genius if they win. If they don’t? I’m already considered clinically insane, so I lose no ground here).

Runner-up: San Jose

J Rodius: Los Angeles Galaxy. They are likely to start slowly again this year, with Donovan on time delay and not replacement for Beckham to start the season, but this team has shown it knows how to win down the stretch. And I’m not willing to bet against that.

Runner-up: DC United

Biggerstaff: San Jose Earthquakes. It will take them a couple months to get it all figured out, but this year they will get hot at the right time and wreck shop in the playoffs. They were a post and an Ike Opara U-12 shooting drill away from beating the Galaxy last year, and no one would have stopped them after that. Runner up goes to DC United, who will turn to two racoons living under the first level in RFK stadium to power their midfield during July and August, allowing them to rest Pontius and DeRo.

Matt, TSG: Houston Dynamo.

The 2013 “I Should Have Been A DP Award

Castrillons, right now it's just Cas-tens-of-thousands.

Castrillons, right now it’s just Cas-tens-of-thousands.

Parchman: Jaime Castrillon. The bang for your buck he provided off his relatively low salary was in the league’s top six in 2012. Also, he’s a really good attacking mid. So there’s that.

Runner-up: Juninho (Galaxy)

Biggerstaff: Didier Drogba, since China clearrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy worked out so well.

Runner-up: Nicolas Anelka.

Jay Bell: Chris Wondolowski.

J Rodius: Oswaldo Alonso. Seattle has gotten so much from this player that they should have to back pay him DP salary.

Grossi: Chris Wondolowksi. If we’re talking too old, overpaid, and underperforming then Bobby Convey and Benny Feilhaber come to mind… sorry, a little consistency goes a long way, though both look poised for big things in Kansas City this year.

Sporting has a bit of history overpaying for premium names, Omar Bravo comes to mind. If we’re talking actually deserving of the cash, look no further than Chris Wondolowski, after all goals win games.

Matt, TSG: Kevin Harbottle. When Oscar Pareja and Wilmer Cabrera get their hands on this kid. In the altitude. With some talent around him.

Rookie of the Year

Canada, you finally have liftoff...

Canada, you finally have liftoff…

Grossi: Kyle Bekker. Going with the homer pick here again, but the last time TFC selected a central midfielder from the East Coast early in the first round – skipping over Sam Cronin, who turned out rather well and a few others–Mo Edu went on to win the award.

Kyle Bekker impressed in the combine, and followed it up with some solid performances in the middle of a very inexperienced national team, earning praise from most observers.

Runner-up: Kekuta Manneh

J Rodius: Carlos Alvarez. One simple reason. Dude is gonna get games. So many rookies struggle for minutes, Carlos won’t have to.

Parchman: Mikey Lopez. With Roger gone to England, he has a legitimate shot at some early minutes. And he’s surrounded by a really good supporting cast. And his name is Mikey.

Runner-up: Andrew Farrell

Jay Bell: Dillon Powers.

Matt, TSG: Kyle Bekker. Toronto FC and greater Canada should be downright giddy about Bekker *if he is deployed properly by Ryan Nelson in Maple Leafville. Bekker’s got the body, savvy and toolset to be an impact player immediately.

Biggerstaff: Gyasi Zardes, because minus Becks and Donovan, he will have plenty of room to run his big mouth, but actually might back it up with the opportunity to deliver. Tommy Muller gets second, because he has a great chance to step into a promising back line with a team in lots of competitions.

The 2nd Annual Dema Kovalenko Most Annoying Player Award

The EPL might send him back not on ability, but on principle. Our loss.

The EPL might send him back not on ability, but on principle. Our loss.

J RodiusKei Kamara. Assuming Kei Kamara returns from loan it has to be him. If I have to see heart-shaped-hands one more time I’m going to puke-color-vomit all over my TV.

Grossi: Freddy Adu. Antoine Hoppenot is a pest, Benny Feilhaber repeatedly fails to live up to expectations, but Freddy Adu annoys the most.

We all love the rise to fame story, but Freddy is the less enjoyable never-quite-gets-there parable. And most annoying of all, he still has a lot of career ahead of him to correct the past, should he ever find a place to stay and thrive.

Jay Bell: Steven Lenhart. The golden afro is much hated amongst opposing centerbacks and fans.

Matt, TSG: Robbie Keane. If I have to watch one more geriatric half-cartwheel-flip-thing after he skins a kid that was playing NCAA Division II last year after Landon Donovan (god rest his soul) opens up the play for him, it will be one too many. Dude, you’re good, but every goal is not a candidate for Sportscenter.

Biggerstaff: Osvaldo Alonso. He hacks a lot + Seattle fans can’t shut up about how he should play for the USMNT (I’m looking at you r/mls) so high levels of overall annoyance. He is followed closely by Omar Gonzalez, his bitching about physicality then attempting to drive his elbow through Lenhart’s face just is too hypocritical for me + he already is in the lead for his incompetence on that second Honduran goal. RUN TO THE BALL. KICK IT AWAY.

Parchman: Steven Lenhart. Of course it’s Lenhart. This means I’ve tabbed Lenhart as both the most annoying and the least TV-genic in these rankings. You’re welcome, Mrs. Lenhart! Good job, good effort.

Runner-up: Robbie Keane

Best Goalie To Take On a Penalty Where He Can’t Use His Hands?

Biggerstaff: Bill Hamid. Dude is big. Plus he looks like he could dive at you armlessly with skill and poise. Followed by Donovan Rickets, because he doesn’t use his hands well in the first place.

Parchman: Thierry Henry. He will literally stare the shot into nonexistence.

Runner-up: Mike Magee

Matt, TSG: Nick Rimando. Easily the best keeper with his feet. He could go straight Bruce Lee and probably win a few games.

Jay Bell:  Sean Johnson. Man, that California kush must be awesome. Who comes up with questions? Maybe Sean Johnson, because of his reflexes.

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The Inaugural Will Johnson Award given to the player with the Best Motor in 2013

Biggerstaff: Will Johnson. It’s mandatory that you give the award to the player you are naming it after the first year, even if he is only playing in Fresno co-ed Sunday league soccer. I mean Portland. But really, Will Johnson, dude’s a beast on the field and RSL is going to miss him.

J Rodius: Enzo Martinez. You better have a good motor if your first name is the same as Ferrari.

Parchman: Dax McCarty. The Red Ball of Work, as I called him just now, is one of the league’s best. And NY just locked him up with a new contract. Balling. Red Balling.

Runner-up: Osvaldo Alonso

Jay Bell: Juninho. Sao Paulo is in the rear view for Juninho. He’s only going to be more intense in 2013.

Matt, TSG: Collen Warner. A breakout year finally coming for the player that most thought would be an attacking wizard at one point in the RSL system. He’s the Hungry Hippo of the Montreal Impact midfield, gobbling up second balls and chasing down errant attackers on the break. He’s Will Johnson-like.

Runner-up: Heath Pearce. Anyone who can party as much as he does and still somewhat coherently play like an All-Star is impressive. He’s like the Ryan Loche of MLS.

The 2013 Goalkeeper of the Year

AG: Putting up bagels on the scoreboard in 2013.

AG: Putting up bagels on the scoreboard in 2013.

Jay Bell: Andy Gruenebaum.

Grossi: Stefan Frei. Frei, should he remain healthy, will definitely be the busiest keeper in the league. Underappreciated, through lack of exposure, and suffering at the mercy of the most porous back-line in the league, if Toronto is to achieve anything this year it will be via the hands, feet, hell, even face of Frei. Frei is one of those keepers who earns points by coming up with the big save that keeps his team in the match, or protects a lead.

J Rodius: Carlos Cudicini. Less for his skills, more because he has what is likely to be the best defense in the league in front of him.

Parchman: Andy Gruenebaum. He will rise from the giant well of yellow apathy in our country’s paunchy midsection to capture our votes. And our hearts, guys. Our hearts.

Runner-up: Matt Pickens

Matt, TSG: Dan Kennedy. Una vez más, Dan Kennedy estará de pie en la cabeza para Chivas EE.UU., aunque este año lo será aún más impresionante, ya que tendrá que hablar en su segunda lengua a su retaguardia. By the way, you know the thing that irks me about Kennedy in the media. He’s ridiculously athletic yet he has this stigma–because he is white perhaps–that he’s not athletic. He’s makes some fairly ridiculous and acrobatic saves.

Your 2013 Outrageous Prediction

Grossi: (1) Toronto will not fire their coach midway through the season, nor will they be the worst team in the league and they will win their fifth straight Canadian Championship.

(2) Another MLS side will reach the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, and perhaps, should the stars align, even win it.

Jay Bell: I’ve been 2-for-2 the last two years, so I’m going to say DC United finally gets clearance for a brand new stadium this year. A less bold prediction is that New York fails to reach the playoffs, making it the greatest season everest for DCU fans.

J Rodius: A player files a lawsuit against Chivas USA for discrimination.

Parchman: Landon Donovan will ride David Beckham out for the Galaxy’s opener. Like, ride him. On his back. Donovan will not play in the game.

Runner-up: The Red Bulls resign Marquez, lure him into upstate New York and trick him into a pit lined with video screens showing Donovan’s Algeria goal on continuous loop. He is kept there for the rest of his life.

Biggerstaff: Average attendance goes up overall again, even without Becks. An MLS team wins the CCL, then everyone else talks about how they didn’t try. Just like we all ‘didn’t try’ to get with the hot girl in high school.

Matt, TSG: More than one MLS player will test positive for PEDs.

Taylor Twellman will go Bill O’Reilly at an MLS Cup party after he attempts to “sing” karaoke to “Bust a Move” and keeps stumbling. The entire MLS media on location will watch in horror as Twellman demands the DJ keeps playing the riff until he gets it right.

Player with the biggest profile who will bomb in 2013?

PIsanu...

PIsanu…

Jay Bell: Andrea Pisanu. Oooooooooo, you’ve bounced around Serie A. Ooooooooooo.

Parchman: Whatever New York Juninho does. Do his legs work?

Runner-up: Robbie Keane

Grossi: Nigel Reo-Coker. The English, have never really taken to the MLS game, with its brazen, eclectic, and often chaotic mix of European physicality and South American tempo, not to mention the temperature, travel, and referees.

Vancouver has a checkered history of DP signings and Reo-Coker’s career has dwindled into ever-decreasing circles since he was on the fringes of the national team some years ago. Attitude is important to success in MLS; can he persevere in the face of these new challenges?

J Rodius: Kaka. I bet he doesn’t even get a start.

Matt, TSG: Mikaël Silvestre. Can someone explain to me how in the name of Don Garber Toronto FC is not allowed to sign EURO 2012 STARTER–with a brace in one match too–Olaf Melberg, yet Portland is allowed to tie up Mikaël Silvestre whose been pinging around continents for the past six months?

So you’re Portland. You’re going with youth up front. You play on turf. You probably are going to want to play a highline. So a 35-year-old CB when you can develop a younger one?

What one player would you want to see on another team and which team would that be?

Northbound, Seattle Sound?

Northbound, Seattle Sound?

Grossi: Wondoloski – Seattle. With a wide perspective, it would be a treat to see how Chris Wondolowski would look in Seattle. The Sounders have regularly struggled for production from their strikers – there’s no one better than Wondo – and a functional partnership between Eddie Johnson and Wondolowski would give Jurgen Klinsmann something to think about for the National Team.

Jay Bell: Juan Agudelo. Juan Agudelo, pretty much on any other team in MLS. I’d love to see that guy with LA, RSL, Houston, etc.

ParchmanDwayne DeRosario. Has to be DeRo on TFC just for the lulz. Close second is Julian De Guzman on TFC. Come to think of it, anybody on TFC.

Runner-up: I can’t come up with anything better than that. Defense rests.

J Rodius: Aurelien Collin on NYRB. Can you imagine the stories of him getting bottle service with P. Diddy? Or going to strip clubs with Mark Sanchez? This needs to happen.

Biggerstaff: Thierry Henry to San Jose. Hypothetically, Henry to San Jose. Wondolowski + Henry strike partnership… mmmmmm dat movement. With a solid midfield behind them, they could do big big things. Next would be Lenhart to Seattle or LA, just to see all the Seattle/Galaxy fans react. Especially when he starts playing well. That would be so amusing.

Matt, TSG: Freddy Adu to Chivas USA. So crazy it just might work.

2013 Non-Centerback Defender of the Year

Jay Bell: Young-Pyo Lee. Heath Pearce could be if they actually played him at left back, but you never know up in NY. I’ll say Young-Pyo Lee will likely have another strong season.

Parchman: Perry Kitchen. You know it. I know it. *kitchen sink joke*

Runner-up: Todd Dunivant. Because left backs.

Biggerstaff: Jalil Anibaba: Why it will be Jalil Anibaba, primarily because a) he is quite good and b) he is on my fantasy team. Followed closely by Justin Morrow, strangely enough for the EXACT same reasoning as Jalil. 

J Rodius: Osvaldo Alonso. We’re all friends here let’s call this what TSG really wants to call it, “The Sean Franklin Award.”  But I’m not on board.  I’m going with Ozzie Alonso.  Yes he’s technically a Midfielder but what he provides as defense is immense.

Matt, TSG: Osvaldo Alonso. I really dislike giving this award to Alonso, because I think he’s a dirty player. But it’s that nastiness that makes him just so good. He covers the expansive midfield of the Seattle Sounders, no easy chore when everyone is rushing forward and the ball is skipping around on the turf. He’s got bite and he can manage possession. He’s that good. He’s that important. And you probably want him on your team. And I do too, if I’m being objective.

Runner-up: Nick DeLeon

2013 Golden Boot

Jay Bell: Chris Wondolowski. Hmm, I’ve got to make a safe pick this year. Last year I said Danny Koevermans and Matt had to point and laugh at me. There has to be something said about the amount of quality strikers in MLS now: Henry, GAM, Cooper, Bruin, Sabo, Keane, Wondo, etc. My safe pick is Wonodolowski. Hard to bet against a guy who has already scored 61 goals in three seasons.

Matt, TSG: Jerry Bengston. Benny Feilhaber created a ton of chances last year, but Saar Sene didn’t finish most of them. Saar Sene creates more chances this year with off-the-ball runs and Bengston mops them up as a poacher/in-the-box guy bucket maker. No Wondo this year. Too many teams will key on him and he may move out to the wing from time-to-time.

Runner-up: Thierry Henry

Parchman: Chris Wondolowski. The sad thing is, he can score 8,346 goals for the Quakes and probably never get another run-out for Jurgi.

Runner-up: Kenny Cooper. Hodor rules.

J Rodius: Robbie Keane.

Biggerstaff: Chris Wondolowski. Dude has had an amazing three year run. Which is about to turn into a four year run. Like I learned from college, things that go for at least four years tend to be the best. He will be followed by Keane, who will run shop up top for LA. The West is going to be a shootout again this year.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. The player should play in a warm weather city? [narrows field]. The player should play in an environ with an abundance of good looking, non-sweater-wearing women. [Narrows field to the Galaxy & Chivas USA]


    pretty sure this would include Houston too.

    Reply

  2. Posted by KMac on 2013/02/27 at 8:07 AM

    Player who should have been a goalie?: Torsten Frings (retired) for his “steller”
    work against the USMNT in 2002 Japan/Korea! I still look down and shake my head everything I remember that one!

    Reply

  3. The ShinGuardian doing an MLS fantasy league for this season?

    Reply

  4. Posted by dude on 2013/02/27 at 9:15 PM

    Hodor.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Jay Bell on 2013/02/28 at 5:57 PM

    And the power of the jinx continues. Mwanga off to Colorado.

    Reply

  6. Posted by dth on 2013/02/28 at 10:06 PM

    Thought this was an interesting quote from Garth Lagerway:

    “The best thing about him playing with the U-20s is that because they ran their attack through him, because he played No. 10, he had to be a leader,” continued Lagerwey. “He was put into this different psychological role that we want him to play with us as well. He doesn’t have to be the man, he doesn’t have to be the only leader, but he has to be in situations now where he demands the ball. He says, ‘I’m going to show up.’”

    Reply

  7. Posted by s44 on 2013/03/01 at 12:12 AM

    Good stuff, as always, but I’ve been wondering… is it just that there’s nothing to say about the most important story for the next two years of US soccer? MLS goes on but national team (and LA, but bah) fans are in an odd, odd limbo. I did think Jeff Bradley’s blog post about it was both well-done and interesting.

    Reply

  8. Posted by dth on 2013/03/01 at 9:57 PM

    By the way, SKC got a steal in Mikey Lopez.

    Reply

  9. Posted by K on 2013/03/02 at 1:38 AM

    I predict the following:

    -all teams will suck equally all in the name of parity

    -the MLS regular season will replace melatonin as my personal sleep aid (when more than half the teams in the league make playoffs to decide the league champ it kind of takes all the drama out of it)

    -a player in his team’s starting 11 will be making less than a full time Jack in the Box employee working the night shift.

    - Robbie Rogers won’t be the only one who becomes #rightlessintheMLS

    - American commentators will continue to call soccer like they were doing a basketball radio broadcast.

    - Television ratings will finally get over that women’s volleyball hump only to get slammed by women’s skeet-shooting during the MLS Cup final.

    Reply

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